Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tenement and Homeboy Sandman Reviews

I have two reviews up this week. One is a review of Wisconsin band Tenement's Blind Wink album, up at Blogcritics now.  And only a month late.  You can hear tracks of it at their bandcap page.

I also reviewed Homeboy Sandman's new EP, Subject: Matter at RapReviews. I was really impressed by his last album, the Good Sun, but my enthusiasm has waned a bit. Still a good EP and worth checking out.

I haven't been updating this blog as frequently as in the past. There are many reasons. That Tenement record is one of three other reviews I have outstanding to Blogcritics, and then I'll probably hang up my hat for good with that site. I just don't have the time to devote to it. I'm still writing for RapReviews, but I think my output will go down. This week I have two presentations to prepare, a paper to write for work, a paper to write for school, and then I have more presentations and papers in my future, both for work and school. When I get home I don't want to be thinking or typing - I want to be playing video games or watching trashy movies or reading. I had all day Sunday free and didn't write a single word. I still love music, and buy it obsessively, but my need to be in on the newest and latest and greatest is waning. Maybe it's getting older and feeling further removed from the youth culture that is the main audience for a lot of the music I write about. I don't go to clubs, rarely go to shows, and am not part of the zeitgeist. 

I've been listening to a lot of mellow electronica and contemporary classical music lately. I've been digging the newish album by American Nicolas Jaar, Space Is Only Noise, and an old album by Brits Boards of Canada. I bought an album by ex-Rapsutina Julia Kent, which is mostly just cello, and also picked up a ton of used Kronos Quartet albums. I am still figuring out if I like them, if they are too new agey, or if they are too dissonant. Am happy that critics have told me to ignore Lana Del Rey. Almost shelled out a million pounds to download all of the Caretakers albums, but reminded myself that it is music that is more interesting conceptually vs. actually listenable. Got tickets to see Andrew Bird and Wye Oak. Am loving the Wye Oak album.  Good music for a bad time. Like My Bloody Valentine gone folk. The perfect soundtrack for being sad.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ritmo Machine Review

I reviewed the Ritmo Machine album this week. Latin music meets hip-hop. Pretty good.

I haven't posted a lot recently. I've been busy, my hands have been bothering me, and I'm trying to spend less time on the computer when I'm not at work. In a cruel twist of fate, I just got a PS3 and am discovering that playing it causes me no end of hand pain. Sweet.

I am working on reviews for the new Lindstrom album, the new Phenomenal Handclap Band, a Tenement album I was supposed to review in December, and maybe the new Homeboy Sandman ep. Half-written somewhere are reviews of last year's Shabazz Palaces album and the Beat Street Soundtrack. I also just bought a bunch of Kronos Quartet albums at Ameoba, and am currently trying to figure out if I like them. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

yU Review

Man, I love yU. I loved him in the Diamond District, I loved his 2010 album Before Taxes, and I especially love his new album, The Earn. I reviewed it this week on RapReviews.  Soulful, deep, grown-up hip-hop.

I finally, finally downloaded Leonard Cohen's first album, after twenty years of people saying how amazing he is. Yeah, they were right. He breaks my heart.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Death Grips Review

I reviewed Death Grips album Exmilitary on RapReviews this week. It's heavy, it's harsh, but I really like it. One of the best mixes of punk and hip-hop ever. You can hear it or buy it over here.

It's been on heavy rotation in my iPod, as well as the new yU album, the Shabazz Palaces album, and the Random Axe album from last year.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Eclipse Review

I reviewed Eclipse's 7777 for RapReviews last week. He's a Canadian rapper.

Been listening to the Shabazz Palace album nonstop, along with the new yU and De La Soul's 1993 album Buhloone Mind State, which is amazing. I've been meaning to buy that album for 18 years and finally got around to it.

I went to the Oakland Art Murmur yesterday. It was a madhouse. Much like an outdoor festival, there were too many people and it was better for the scene than to actually enjoy art. There was a lot of Occupy art, including some amazing pictures of the protest at the port (which I disagreed with). Also, Boots Riley from the Coup walked by me.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Day

I spent New Year's having a crab dinner at a friend's house. We watched the fireworks from the Embarcadero from their roof. I got news that my nephew was born. Kept my alcohol intake to moderate levels, and was home and in bed by two am. Now I am groggily starting the day and getting ready to start the year. I have big plans for 2012: there is a lot going on with work, with school, in my personal life. Last year I made a resolution to see more live music. I'm not making that same resolution in 2012. I want to see more shows, but I feel like I am at an age where I don't have the luxury to stay out until one am on a weekday. I have too many responsibilities, too many projects, too much going on to be able to indulge in hanging out and going to shows. Not that I won't still go, but it's not as important to me as it was last year.

This past year I dug deep into jazz, electronic, contemporary classical, and of course hip-hop. I'm wondering what is on the horizon for me in 2012 music-wise. Right now I'm too busy listening to Shabazz Palace's Black Up to worry about it. I put off buying this album for months, but finally gave in. It's not a traditional hip-hop album. The beats are languid and strange, as is the rapping. It's amazing though, a fitting sequel to the Digable Planet's Blow Out Comb album. I've been listening to it while playing Infamous on my new PS3. One of my favorite passtimes in life is to listen to music and play video games, jumping around a model New York City electrifying things while bumping Shabazz Palaces. I'm sure the people that do the sound and voice acting for games would be horrified to learn that I always mute their creations so that I can provide my own soundtrack.

Happy 2012!

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